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SmashTheState's avatar

How is the division made between General and Social?

Asked by SmashTheState (14245points) December 10th, 2011

I’ve often found it difficult to figure out whether a question belongs in General or Social. For example, often I will be eliciting opinions on weighty subjects, with expectations of long, well thought out positions rather than a straw poll of every runny nose with a keyboard and two working fingers. The way General is described makes it sound like it’s restricted to questions with factual, verifiable answers, but Social is clearly not the place for deep discussion, since the description says that humour and off-topic answering is encouraged.

How is the General/Social split supposed to work?

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23 Answers

Berserker's avatar

In General, people have to stay on topic. While humour is allowed, it really can’t stray from the subject at hand at all. For that reason, I guess that makes it a lot more accessible for people who do need factual answers, although long discussions and opinions can also occur.

In Social, well you can pretty much do whatever you want lol. (the guidelines don’t say it, but looking on how it works, it pretty much entails it XD) A lot of intelligent and constructive stuff can be seen in social though. It just doesn’t have the stay on topic restraints that General does. Because of that, discussions in social tend to go every which way; which can often be interesting. It can lead to discussions which might not happen in General because of its restrictions. Of course, sometimes it just gets silly lol, and I’m often at fault for this. XD
At least that’s how I understand it anyways. If I’m wrong, well check out the guidelines and see what they say about each section. Probably your best bet in understanding what they’re all for.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

General: Must stay on topic and give possibly humorous, but correct answers
Social: Allowed to veer off topic and give silly or sarcastic answers

JLeslie's avatar

Yeah, @Symbeline is correct. It is really up to you how Much you are willing to tolerate answers that might be off topic. If you want answers that only address your specific question with little wiggle room on wandering of to related topics, then stay in general. If you want to put a question out there and see where it might wind up down a windy path, go with Social.

marinelife's avatar

It’s about the answers. If there are going to be humorous repsonses or off-topic responses, then your question belongs in Social.

SavoirFaire's avatar

The short description of the General section reads:

Thoughtful answers. In-depth discussions.

The long description of the General section reads:

The General Section of Fluther has strict guidelines for responding. The goal is to help people get the answers they need. For relaxed guidelines, see the Social Section.

Responses must:

•Focus on answering the question
•Relate to the discussion and be on-topic
•Be respectful; you can disagree without being disagreeable
•Adhere to the writing standards

Responses must not:

•Be one-liners, jokes, or chit-chat (please be helpful)
•Disrupt the discussion
•Dismiss the asker (“just Google it”)

It’s okay to:

•Use your sense of humor as long as you’re answering the question

Thank you for your effort; it’s because of people like you that Fluther is one of the best places to have thoughtful discussions and learn new things.

Both versions include the assumption that there may be thoughtful discussion, so it seems that “eliciting opinions on weighty subjects, with expectations of long, well thought out positions” is perfectly appropriate for General. And indeed, that is how the section has always been run.

ucme's avatar

General: Patrons must respect the intentions of the original post or die trying.
Social: Participants should feel free to write whatever the fuck they wanna…..within certain boundaries of course.

janbb's avatar

If I want an on-topic factual answer or a discussion, I put it in General. If I don’t care too much where the thread goes, I put it in Social.

Lightlyseared's avatar

General – Any answer may be modded at any time for whatever reason. You will then be taken out into the carpark and shot. Just to be sure.

Social – Any answer may be modded at any time for whatever reason but you probably won’t be dragged to the carpark.

Bellatrix's avatar

I usually post in General when I really don’t want the discussion to go off track and I want a very specific answer. If I don’t mind some wandering OR if I want some debate and to get a range of more detailed ideas on a topic (even if some of them are a little off-the-beaten track) I will post in Social.

dappled_leaves's avatar

But I’ve seen responses be modded as “off topic” in Social, too. I even asked about it once, and was told that it happened frequently. Though I wouldn’t say I’ve seen it happening frequently.

JLeslie's avatar

@dappled_leaves Yeah, if it is not related in any way it might still get modded. But, social let’s the answers meander a little.

filmfann's avatar

People who ask questions in General don’t want to hear the shit that comes out of my mouth.

zensky's avatar

Well, Mr. @SmashTheState – nice of you to pop in. This is Meta, the Social pertaining to Fluther. The other white meat. Have the larvae answered your question?

Keep typing!


Runny nose with a keyboard and two working fingers.

saint's avatar

Who knows? Ask a mod.

Paradox25's avatar

When I ask a question in the general section I do so because I want the thread to stay on topic. Also, I use general to protect my questions from wisecrackers who have nothing better to do than try to pick apart a question instead of answering it. I don’t think the general section is that restricted and it still allows for many different and variable responses. I would only ask a question in social for a less serious topic. To me general section means serious discussion, social means anything goes.

Berserker's avatar

@Zen I don’t think that’s him. :p

jrpowell's avatar

Still think the division should be the type of question and not answers.

Question tab: Where is my local polling place? (has answer)

Discussion tab: Why should I vote for Newt? (subjective)

SmashTheState's avatar

Instead of dividing the questions between general and social, then, would it not make more sense to divide the answers? So a person who wanted to give a factual answer could flag it as general, while someone who wanted to give a “wacky” answer could flag it as social — and people could choose which thread they prefer to follow from the question (or both, if they like). It would solve the problem of questions which fit both categories.

jrpowell's avatar

I don’t think there should be any division based on answers. The old policy of “Don’t fuck around until a solution is posted” worked well.

I don’t care if you think Obama is a secret Muslim, or if you like pizza and think fags are destroying the country. I wanted them to put those (fake) questions someplace else to clean up the part I actually like. The part the that actually solves problems. Now it is just a big clusterfuck.

saint's avatar

Seems to me if you really wanted an answer to a technical problem, there are better internet sources than Fluther. What does everybody expect from a “social” site if not mostly subjective opinions. Many people, including people on Fluther, like to hear themselves talk. Isn’t that kind of the point?

dappled_leaves's avatar

@saint Maybe that’s why the site has changed (assuming people ask fewer technical questions)... has Fluther been around long enough for users to figure out how to search what’s already on the internet more effectively? Or has the amount of information out there since reached some critical mass, such that it now makes more sense to search for information than to ask for it?

zensky's avatar

Basically, if it’s serious and boring and googable – General. Everything else is Social and if it smells like Fluther it’ll be botted there. Easy.

Berserker's avatar

Lmao, googable.

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